Solar Cooking: Black Bean Burger Chili

27 Jul

So I’m looking into my freezer and notice I bag full of broken pieces. As I examine closer I figured out I smooshed a bag of black bean burger patties. 

I know I’ll make chili in my new solar oven.

Here are the ingredients I thru together. I didn’t measure anything but I will guess.

• 4-6 broken up black bean burgers

• 2 cans of diced tomatoes w/ juice

• 1 can of black beans w/ juice

• 1 onion chopped

• 1-2 tbl Worcestershire sauce

• 1 tsp chili powder

• palm full fresh minced oregano, basil & parsley

• salt & pepper to taste
Preheat solar oven for 15-20m.

Cook & break up black bean burgers in a skillet with a little bit of oil until unthawed.

Toss everything in a 4qrt black pot with lid and combine well.

Place pot In solar oven for 3-4hrs. Mine was done in 3.5hrs.

Solarvore Sport Solar Oven

27 Jul

I bought myself a solar oven for my birthday! I just made red pepper kale frittata for breakfast. Took 1hr and 25m in the solar oven. So cool.

I just put dinner in the solar oven. Black bean chili! Can’t wait! Will take 4-6 hrs. Solar oven cooks like your slow cooker but only cooler. No electricity, no propane only need the warmth of the sun = Free!

So awesome cooking for Free! 

2016 Garden – July

16 Jul

It’s been a hard road to get to this point in the garden. I am so happy I decided to do this. It has been so rewarding.

May 5, 2016

May 6, 2016

May 7, 2016

May 12, 2016

May 15, 2016

June 4, 2016

June 11, 2016

July 16, 2016. Celery.

Herb Bed: Stevia, Basil, Sage, Thyme, Cilantro, Oregano, Chives, Parsley


Corn, Peas & Beans

Swiss Chard

Strawberries & Lettuce


Napa Cabbage, Bok Choy, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts

Hot & Sweet Peppers

Tomatoes, Carrots & Collards

Total of 13 Raised Beds! Had to use cement stakes to keep the beds down because the wind here is so harsh. If I couldn’t figure out wind shelter these plants would never survive.

Spaghetti Squash & Strawberries

Broccoli & Strawberries

Strawberries, Mint & Oregano

Great views from this little back porch.

Have some Kale hidden within these Marigolds.

Strawberries, Lavender & Mint

July 20, 2016. I have never seen the flower of an okra plant before. They are beautiful!

Its only been about 5 days and everything has grown a bunch. had to take some photos. This is the herb bed. July 21, 2016.


Corn, Peas & Beans

Swiss Chard

Strawberry & Lettuce


Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Bok Choy, Napa Cabbage

Hot & Sweet Bell Peppers

Collards, Tomatoes & Carrots

July 22, 2016. Finally trimmed up the Bok Choy & Napa Cabbage. Now for some neem spay to control the earwigs.

Got tons of Napa leaves from trimming. Going to make sauerkraut!

Lots of Bok Choy too. Im thinking a cabbage stirfry tonight!

Harvested my first head of lettuce today for lunch. planted some more in its place.

July 25, 2016 harvested 2 more head of lettuce. 😋

July 27, 2016. New addition: some cilantro, curly parsley, pepermint and more variety of tomatoes and bell peppers.

2016 Garden – April

30 Apr img_8854

The Month of April was a good one.

April 17, 2016:

Starters have way out grown their container. I am finally getting around to transferring them into a larger 72 cell tray. While doing this I realized I didn’t actually comprehend how much I planted. Everything grew pretty well except the red oak leaf lettuce didn’t sprout. Also because I waited to long, a lot of the plants are stringy. Yuk!


plants have out grown thier container


i still have a few more rows of tomatoes to transfer!



April 21, 2016:

Today I planted the second batch of seeds…

KALE: Red Winter (s2011), Dinasaur (s2010), Dwarft Blue Curled (s2011)

COLLARDS: Georgia (s2010)

BUSH BEANS: Dragon Tongue (s2013), Black Turtle (s2010), Blue Lake 274 (s2015)

CUCUMBERS: Countryfair (s2015), Straight 8 (s2013), Spacemaster 80 (s2013)

BROCCOLI: Raab Rapini (s2015)

OKRA: Clemson Spineless 8 (s2010)

ZUCCHINI: Dark Green (s2013), Golden (s2015), Black Beauty (s2013)

SWISS CHARD: Ruby Red (s2011), Flamingo (s2011), Fordhook Giant (s2011), Bright Lights (s2011), Bright Canary (s2015), Cardinal (s2015)

CELERY: Tall Utah (s2011)

MUSTARD GREENS: Red Giant (s2010)

LETTUCE: Gourmet Mix (s2012), Mild Mescluin Mix (s2011), Green Romain (s2015), Dark Lolla Rossa Red Leaf (s2015), Susan Green Oak (s2015)

PEAS: Sugar Daddy (s2010), Fordhook (s2013), Progress #9 (s2010)

  Finally my vision is complete. I have all my starters growing all on one shelving unit.




I can’t wait to watch these newbies sprout!


April 22, 2016:

Expanded my indoor growing today! I added a few more shelves on the 2 other windows that get good sunlight. I also constructed them with grow lights…

So excited to have fresh herbs right in my kitchen: thyme, cilantro, dill, basil, parsley & oregano.

I wraped each grow shelve with a tapestry to help keep the light from blinding us. Keeps a lot of the light in. Serves as a great night light. 😉 I just used yarn to tie the tapestry up on each side.

Can’t wait until the stores carry house plants. I vision an ivy plant on the top shelf.

Lettuce and microgreens

Wonderful lettuce from Woods Rose Market.

I planted some celery seeds, never have any luck with them actually growing. Was excited to see these at Town & Country! Might actually have some this summer.

Built these 2 shelves today too.

Rosemary from Woods Rose Market

Regular sage & pineapple sage. This stuff is awesome! Herbs actually has a pineapple scent to them…


April 24, 2016:

Sprouted: Dino Kale, Dwarf Blue Curled Kale, Georgia Collards, Dragon Tongue Bush Beans, Spring Rapini Broccoli Raab, Black Beauty Zucchini

My first batch of starters are growing great.


April 26, 2016:

I noticed that the popsicle sticks I use for identifying my starts are growing a white mold. I replaced all of them with plastic tags.

Sprouted: Country Fair/Straight 8 & Spacemaster 80 Cucumbers, Clemson Spineless Okra, Dark Green & Golden Zucchini,  Ruby Red/Flamingo/Bright Lights/Bright Canary & Cardinal Swiss Chard, Red Giant Mustard, Gourmet Mix/Mild Mescluin Mix/Dark Lolla Rossa/Susan Green Oak Lettuce, Sugar Daddy & Fordhook Pea, Black Turtle & Blue Lake 274 Bush Bean, Red Winter Kale, Thyme



April 29, 2016:

I planted the Chocolate Mint & Orange Mint I bought from Woods Rose Market. Can’t wait to use in smoothies!


The microgreens are so green and beautiful right now.

2016 Garden – March

22 Mar img_8579-2

MARCH 12, 2016:

I’m so excited for this years garden!! I feel it’s going to be another good one!!

Today I planted organic starter plants. Used organic starter soil & my really small spaced planter container. Amended the soil with azomite. Sprayed with epson salt water (2 tbs/32 oz water.

Tomatoes – Rutgers (s2011), Burpee’s Long Keepers (s2011), Yellow Pear (s2011), Delicious (s2011), Baxter’s Bush Cherry (s2011).
Peppers – Jalapeños Early (s2010), King of the North (s2013), Sweet Combo (s2014).
Lettuce – Red Oakleaf (s2010), Parris Island Romaine (s2010).
Red Express (s2010) & Cabbage Columbia Heirloom (s2014).
Eggplant Italian Long Purple (s2014).
Broccoli Sprouting Calabrese Heirloom (s2010)
Cauliflower Snowball Improved Heirloom (s2010).
Chinese Cabbage Baby Choi (s2010).
Zefa Fino Fennel (s2010).
Brussels Sprouts Long Island Improved (s2013).
Onions – Leeks Hannibal (s2010), Walla Walla Heirloom (s2011) & Evergreen Long White Bunching (s2010).



MARCH 15, 2016:

Sprouted: Baby Choi



MARCH 16, 2016:

Sprouted: Parris Island Romaine, Broccoli Sprouting Calabrese Heirloom, Cauliflower Snowball Improved Heirloom, Cabbage Columbia, Brussels Sprouts Long Island Improved.

Here you see the Baby Choi, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts.


I get the small little fly problem a lot, so I didn’t want them to infest my soil. I used kabob skewers, duck tape, yarn & winter window film to create a small greenhouse cover. It isn’t pretty but it works, bonus I didn’t need to spend any extra cash!



MARCH 18, 2016:

Sprouted: Delicious & Baxter Bush Cherry Tomatoes, Red Express Cabbage.



March 19, 2016:

Sprouted: Rutgers tomatoes.



March 20th, 2016:

Sprouted: Burpee Long Keeper tomatoes, Red Oakleaf lettuce, Walla Walla onions & Fennell.



March 21st, 2016:

Sprouted: Yellow Pear tomatoes, Eggplant, Evergreen onions & Leeks.




March 22nd, 2016:

Plants are growing well:


Mushroom Time!

20 Feb img_8433-3

Got some great mushrooms at the discount rack today! Time for some dehydrating!!

Last time I bought a bunch and dehydrated them too. Slices are great for sautéing, soups and stews. Whole dehydrated portobello tops are great for grilled sandwiches!

A great book for dehydrating foods:



  So next time you see an abundance of awesome veggies on sale for dirt cheap, buy them and dehydrate them for later use!

Easy RAW Coconut Curry Soup

7 Jan

I just realized I never posted this:

I had one young Thai coconut left in the fridge, so I decided to make dinner with it. This raw vegan soup is amazing and full of rich flavor. I couldn’t believe it! So simple to make if you have a Vitamix blender. Keep blending until it becomes warm. Make sure you don’t go over 116 to 118 degrees. After 118 degrees you will start killing the nutrition and the Coconut Curry soup will no longer be considered a Raw Soup!

From Kristen Suzanne’s Easy Raw Vegan Soups book:

• 1 young Thai Coconut, meat and water
• 3 medium carrots, chopped
• 1 apple, cored and chopped
• 1 1/2 tbs red onion, chopped
• 1 tbs fresh lime juice (I used lemon)
• 1 tbs fresh orange juice
• 1 tbs curry powder
• 2 tbs coconut oil
• 2 tsp fresh minced ginger or 1/2 tsp ground
• 1 tsp Himalayan crystal salt ( I used 1/2 tsp real salt)
• 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Blend all of the ingredients until smooth and warm.


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